Light and darkness

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Eileena
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:10 pm

Re: Light and darkness

#11 Post by Eileena » Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:14 pm

A cacophony of voices and melody.
The proportions of this room are well known to me now, but with the unending sound it is still too large to hide!
It must be the bread.
I am sure of it.
There was something to the taste of it, a herb I cannot name.
A calculated risk.
Gods, I must remember the lessons from my father.

A walk in the park.
Oh, to walk...a familiar warmth next to me. That warm, strong hand in reach...

Stop.
It does not do to dwell on what is not there.
Focus.
A walk in the forest.
There does not seem to be a bird around.
Yet once you stop talking and actually focus, a chorus arises.
Focus.
It is all about focus.

Back to the basics, back to my breathing.
In
Hold
Out
Listen to my breath
My spirit
My life.

I can think of reasons for the herbs.
One guess is an influx of patients.
We shall see.

In
Hold
Out

If they'd truly wish for me to be effective
They should let me out!

Eileena
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:10 pm

Re: Light and darkness

#12 Post by Eileena » Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:46 pm

The air grows heavy
Pushing down
All that was so clear

Words won't come
Songs out of reach
People hurting
So much

Can't breathe
Can't think

It's not their fault
They trust
I have to find words
Grab them
Instead of waiting
Spin a song
Instead of Hearing
Please, be whole
Soar high
Wings healed
Touch the clouds
But
Come back
Land
Here

Hello there
Welcome back
I know your uniform
I know your wounds
Even though they are whole.
I understand your words
Your questions
Although I cannot answer out loud
I have one of my own

Please, talk to them
Explain
How this could have been easier
If I could breathe.

I apologize for the intrusion.
It could have been easier for you.
Maybe you can make it easier for the next.

Let them know.
Now.

Eileena
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:10 pm

Re: Light and darkness

#13 Post by Eileena » Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:33 pm

Be careful what you wish for.

I am at sea.
The air is so fresh it is almost intoxicating. Although I am not allowed the sun as of yet, I can smell the warmth on the salty breeze.
It is unreal.
Tangible yet so far away.

Have they heard? Did I call out loud?
Or is it an educated guess of their leader?
Whatever the case may be, I find myself outside the cellar and almost into open air.
It's beyond fantastic and somehow very frightening.
Without the imposed boundaries the world out here feels endless, as if I might fall off the face of the earth.

The facts, then. I must remember.
Captain Stormwake, she sounds as if I should have heard of her.
I do not.
This seems to be useful to her, as she implies I am too far away from home to expect any help.
She might be right, since I do not know her.
I know her strength.
I can feel it in her hands, hear it in her voice.
This is no bluff she is playing. She knows exactly where she is and how she got there. I have to admire her for that. Not many people are this confident in their own right.

Her insinuations are quite clear too.
There is nowhere to go.
The waves might look kindly upon me, but the people sailing her might not, nor the hunger that swims beneath.

I am - in sort- still a prisoner, be it with a little more room.
She has no intention of letting me go.
At all.
In some way I might perceive this as a form of protection. I do not believe any of her crew will try to hurt me as long as she is in charge.
They would not dare offend her.
In another...gods, how far has my mind gone that this strange conversation with Stormwake feels like rain during the drought? I yearn for human contact! Even though half of her words are laced with threats and would-be's, I do not want her to go! Not yet!

And then she is gone
With promises of a shower and clean clothes.
Oh yes, I would love to feel human again.
Isn't it ironic?
I went on this journey to find out how much more I can be than Nomine's wife and guild healer.
I now find myself as a captain's pet and ship's healer.

I am an idiot.
To have let other voices convince me I was nobody.
The mere fact that I let them
proves that perhaps I am no more than an attachment.
Looking for someone else to tell me what I am worth.

Oh, I recognize the signs alright.
Resignation to a situation,
Grateful for any interaction, be it with my captor.
Self doubt growing.

Be still.
Be still and find the waves.
Find the melody
Heal amidst the chaos.
Do not drown
Do not give in.
Hope.
Sing.
Live.

Eileena
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:10 pm

Re: Light and darkness

#14 Post by Eileena » Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:31 pm

(switch to camera point of view, thanks to my secret co-writer)

Eileena sat in the simple, wooden chair, trying to get a feel for the balance of the ship as it moved over the waves. The salty air made its way into the cabin with every breath she took. Anything better than the place she was stuck in for so long! Tilting her head, the blind woman listened, trying to get acquainted with the ship's sounds as soon as possible. She ignored the dizziness of her perceived freedom, knowing very well that this chance of scenery was not necessarily a step in the right direction.

Familiar heavy boots could be heard pounding on the deck up above her, moving further and further away, if only for a moment. Those heavy footfalls started heading towards Eileena's cabin.

<Thud> <Thud> <Thud>

Next, the jingling of keys could be heard before a heavy <click> as the door unlocked and opened with a slight creak. Lumbering steps approached Eileena, the ruffle of a coat of some kind. Eileena felt warm breath on her face. One of her captors no doubt taking a look at their prize.

"So priest, how are we today?" the speaker smelled of alcohol, though not of bar-room swill. A bit more refined, if not by much.

Eileena swallowed as the door unlocked. She tried to regulate her breathing. As much as the last room was a prison, at least it was familiar and with that strangely safe. Out here she still felt exposed as she had had no opportunity to explore just yet. Her hands moved to her lap, fingers entwined.
Smelling the alcohol, the priestess wrinkled her nose ever so slightly, her senses still overcome by all the input after so long in that one room.

A woman, she realized. Unexpected, somehow. Even more unexpected the fact that someone actually addressed her in a language she could understand!

She scraped her throat. "Thank you for your choice of language, lady. "

The female speaker chuckled at Eileena, having noticed her slight surprise.

"Cannon Fodder and blaggards that can be so...uncivilised. And not knowing how to treat a woman." Eileena heard the clothing rustle again as the strange woman adjusted her seating. "But between you and me, they have their uses, once they are put into line. A drink of something perhaps? I assure you it isn't drugged, as I need you to be able to perform your duties with a clear head."

"May I know your name?" Eileena ventured. A conclusion quickly formed in her head. If this woman was speaking about 'putting in line ' , she might indeed be higher up in the ranks. Time to find out how high.

"Your people seem to differ in opinion from you regarding to the use of ...drugs..." The pale woman tried to make her voice sound as neutral as possible. "I seem to remember some loafs of bread with a distinct difference in taste."

Eileena concentrated , trying to get any hint at all with her other senses to figure out if this lady knew of the little drugs experiment while she was in prison...and how she would react to this knowledge.

"Of course you may. I have no secrets to hide. I am Thaalia Stormwake, Captain of The Salty Mare. Though there is no need for titles between us." The woman gave a chuckle that although fairly even in tone did carry with it the authority of the one who was directly responsible for Eileena's fate.

"You know how it is when you use a third-party for such matters you just can't quite control what methods they will use in order to...expedite their next coin purse." Thaalia's voice remained even throughout. There was an air of self-importance, more befitting a noble than any sailor.

"Now that you in my direct care, there will not be...tainted food. And who knows, if you co-operate, you may even sit at my table, not stuck in this cabin. But I'm afraid I will be requiring your services for the foreseeable future." Thaalia's voice took on a bit of a darker tone after seeming so civil.

"Just know that even though I will require your services, that any insubordination will be punished and that the crew...." Another ruffle of clothing as Thaalia moved. Eileena felt the woman's breath on her cheek.

"...well...I'm sure you can figure it out."

A captain, ruler of the ship! Depending on how far out they were, Eileena would go so far as to note this woman as ruler of her fate. She immediately sat up straight out of habit.
Not a comforting thought, even though the thinly veiled threat was being cushioned by the promise of a somewhat more humane treatment.

"Captain Stormwake." A deliberate choice to use her title anyway. Eileena inclined her head towards the woman once the gap between their faces widened again. The clothing sounded as expensive as the details of her speech. No doubt this lady had the coin and the will to get her way.
And this
Was bad news.

"For the foreseeable future, you say...if I may be so bold, there must be plenty and very skilled people out there willing to work for you. Although I am more than happy that I am one of those able to make a difference for those in need, I highly doubt I am more useful to you than any other in full posession of their freedom and wit.
In other words, why go through these troubles when you would have people at your beck and call in an instant? For goodness sakes, lady, I am no miracle worker!" Eileena tried her very best to sound confident enough about her skills without seeming to be better than she was.
She wasn't the best.
Not by far.
But she had to take care not to sound uneffective lest she had to fear for her life.

She tilted her head. "In short...why? "

A smirk formed on Thaalia's face seeing Eileena sitting up straight. For most, many would be trembling. After all she wasn't unknown in Kul Tiran waters and upon hearing her name or seeing The Mare's flag most would turn tail quick. So either this woman had no idea of who she was, or she had an iron will.

"That would be true, however your particular...condition does have some advantages to me as well. For one, it allows a certain amount of...anonymity when it comes to those you use your skills on. You are unknown to others within our regular...travels. It's easier to control what information you have about your surroundings, and even if you were able to escape...Where. Would you. Go?" Thaalia took a small amount of pleasure in how she delievered those last four words, to let the situation sink in even further.

"If you serve me well, or at least at your best, you will be given three meals a day, relative comfort and have some security. If I were to let you go, I very much doubt you'd be able to row to land on these seas, even with supplies. If anyone else did find you, it will be days or weeks at least, and even if they did, they might not extend the same courtesy I am.

So your best bet is to stay with me."

So many implications in the choice of words and the tone.
It reminded her strongly of her husband. Nomine excelled at many things and those that he did not master, he usually could bluf his way through by making good use of the insecurities and needs of the other.
Eileena thought to recognize part of that in the captain's speech. The priestess had no doubt this woman could make good on her threats as well as her promises. She tried very hard not to shiver at the words that were omitted and yet so powerful.

Her prolonged stay in that one claustrophobic room made her vulnerable to the most minute of changes. Having been without a conversational partner for so long made her acutely aware of how fragile her opportunities were in this situation. She would not offend the lady by asking her how she could be sure Eileena could perform at sea, nor would she pretend to be more scared or daft than she was. Yet too smart or observing would be a danger too. She would have to find a balance between silent compliance and gathering information.
And the lady had given her plenty. A captain of considerable wealth and cunning, used to getting her way and an accent that betrayed her social circles. She knew her boundaries, judging by the faint aroma of alcohol. She sailed seas thus far unknown to Starlight and many others and her clients wished for anonimity. Nobles caught up in illegal practices or even rebelry?

She had to find out more about this society , even if she was stuck at sea. It was the best way to find an opening for her plans.
Yet the captain was not sure enough about her or she would not have given the superfluous speech on whether or not to escape from this ship...

Eileena sighed, realizing she had been silent for too long already. "Captain Stormwake, I assure you I am not desperate enough to throw myself into the waves. In fact, I must thank you for granting me the fresh air I have been lacking." Respect where respect was due. The blind woman counted her blessings as far as they were still there. She had to give credit to this lady for using what was at her disposal. Now it was her own turn to use whatever she had learned from listening to Nomine.

If the captain made so sure she could not leave, there was a certain amount of need on her part. Time to find out how great that need was. "I must also thank you for at least instructing your people correctly on how much one can do in a day." It could not hurt to let the captain know Eileena realized she was in charge of whoever kept her hidden first. A little hidden compliment on her insights into healing might not do much right now, but it might smooth the way for later on. " I would not turn down one in need but alas, I am no bottomless vessel. It takes ...effort...and I will require time to reload, so to speak, before I have spent my last or -as you would understand- there would be nothing left for me to draw from. Many think we simply ask for divine assistance and that is it. Yet you probably know already that everything has a cost. "

Thaalia carefully watched Eileena. She was trained to read people just by how they sat and from the healer's every move she could read that she was indeed afraid.

She couldn't blame the girl however, as were their roles reversed, she might react the same. Still Thaalia meant everything she had said. She might be a pirate of a sort, but she still kept her own set of honor.

A furrow of a brow, a twinge of one's mouth, everything was a clue to what someone was actually thinking. She had no illusions that the girl was docile enough to not try and escape and that she would likely try and gather as much information as she could about her surroundings. Something Thaalia would be doing herself.

"I wouldn't want you to go insane out on the tides here. They have a way of making people do that without extra help. So fresh air helps to replenish a strained 'vessel'. As I said before, I'm not unkind and have seen my fair share of magic to know that it is not an endless amount of stamina."

Thaalia took off one of her heavy gloves and put her meaty hand on Eileena's shoulder. The touch was a small gesture meant to light. Though from the weight of the hand, it could be assumed that if she meant to kill Eileena, she could probably do so easily if she got a hand around Eileena's throat.

"Once we hit port we'll see what we can do about a bath for you before seeing to those dirty rags you have on. After all, we will need to look our best when seeing to the first round of clients."

Eileena could feel the conversation drawing to an end. Even though the captain's words were laced with implied and straight out threats, any human interaction was better than being stonewalled for all that time.
Weeks?
Months?
Right now the blind priestess had no clue.
Right now she did not care.
There was a chance of a real shower instead of having to make do with a rag.
A chance of a real change of clothes.
And maybe she would be permitted to talk some more.

A moment she hesitated. Then she had to ask: 'Can I speak to the people I encounter? Either your crew or...the clients? Are they allowed to speak to me?'

Or would anyone be punished, caught in interaction...the underlying question remained unasked.

Although the priestess couldn't see it, Thaalia focused intently on Eileena, her hand still light on the priestess' shoulder as attempting to show some modicum of friendliness. Though her grip slightly tightened on the priestess' shoulder after asking that question.

"You may speak to those you encounter...Both the crew and the clients...unless they do not want you to. Prying into their business or identities...Won't be taken lightly. And some, no, most of them, are not like me. They are more....brutal with their punishments and I can only protect you for so long.

Out there. I am not in charge."

And just like that the conversation was over.
The captain left, grinning almost audibly, leaving the blind woman in her new prison.
The cards had changed.
Yet no winning hand in reach.

Eileena
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:10 pm

Re: Light and darkness

#15 Post by Eileena » Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:17 pm

( Flashback)

"You're going to get used to it, trust me." Nathanial held his daughter close, his strong arms anchoring the pale girl. "Feel the difference with the rowing boat. Let it move you, don't fight it."

Eileena loved the feeling of her father's arms around her. The tone of his voice was completely in tune with the warmth his strong body radiated. It provided a wonderful counterweight to the chilly sea breeze around them. Nothing could harm her aboard this ship, not with her father so close. She took a deep breath. The salt in the air was almost tangible. Sea gulls cried permission for the ship to move although by the sound of the working men behind her this permission had already been taken for granted.

She turned her attention inwards as the blacksmith had taught her, trying to establish the reactions of her body to her surroundings. Her buckling knees embarrassed her, as did the faint nausea that played on the strange moving sensation in her head. She noticed her feet trying to find a position where they would not have to shift with every tilt of the deck.

How? The young girl frowned, then nodded to herself. Shifting her weight she used one foot after the other to feel where her father's feet were located to mirror his stance, adjusted for her height.
It did not help much with her balance.
How then?
She moved her attention to the arms holding her safe. There was a low hum in his muscles, following the rhytm of the waves, not a constant at all.
There!
Don't fight it.
Move.
Aha!

Eileena allowed the hum in, softly taking up its tone and floating with it. Her knees unlocked, her body accepting the dance with the sea.

She closed her pale eyes, not needing them to feel the rocking of the boat. Her feet moved carefully but with more confidence, caught up in the waves of the sea's melody. This was so different from the intruding splashes in the rowing boat! It was almost as if this ship had a life of its own, an agreement with the waves below to work together. Maybe if she could listen a little further, she might hear the ship's own song...

Soft laughter broke her concentration. Nathanial's voice sounded further away than she expected. His arms were no longer around her. She stood on deck, by herself, without falling over. Even now that she could not listen to that elusive hum, she felt her stomach sway in a strangely pleasant way, as if somehow she had locked hands in friend-ship's song.

"And now to find your balance between your inside song and your outside world, hm?" The smith gently chided her as he walked up to his daughter, a proud smile on his face. He knew she could not see it, but he knew equally well she would notice anyway. She was getting somewhere with this song-business! One day he would have to let her go into the world by herself.
And I'll be damned if she won't at least know to find her footing!

Eileena smiled back at him, her unseeing eyes resting somewhere above his chin. "I want to try this again on another ship! A smaller one, find out if the waves do come closer or not."

The muscular man was not entirely sure what his daughter meant, but at least the fear had left her, which had been his intention. He walked up to her and put his arms around her again. "Well done, my little winter rose, well done. Next time, we'll take your staff along. See if that one will keep you a little more aware of your surroundings, hm?"

The white haired girl flushed a soft pink. "I won't loose myself, father. I like the world too much."

The man nodded with an accompanying 'm-hm'. "Yet if you do...remember your staff. Hit something with it. Feel the vibrations. Do not lean on hearing alone. Feel."

The day you have to flee the world into your own song is the day I will make that world sorry for what it did to you. He added silently, not wanting to burden her just yet with the challenges she might face in the world of the seeing.
He would have to trust her.

"Father, you can let go now!" Eileena giggled, feeling Nathanial's arms tense around her.

Blushing the blacksmith loosened his grip.
He would have to let her go eventually.
And as much as he trained her to be ready for it, he knew he might never be.

---
Eileena woke up, sweating from intense dreams, the familiar feeling of the waves beneath her.
Her heart ached.
No arms comforted her.
Confused in time a little longer before the white-haired woman realized where and when she was.
Captain Stormwake's ship.
Awake for another day of forced duty.
There would be no anchoring arms.
There was not even a staff to feel.
The ship's sounds continued as if nothing was wrong, as if not her whole life had been turned upside down, as if she was not
utterly
lost.

She bit her blanket to soften the sobs that escaped her.

Eileena
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:10 pm

Re: Light and darkness

#16 Post by Eileena » Sun Jun 30, 2019 12:00 pm

(once again a co-written piece)

Time passed after the first meeting between healer and captain. After a much craved - and needed- scrubbing and clean clothes Eileena almost felt human again. Fresh air touched her skin, making her break out in happy goose bumps. It felt like life touching.
Aboard the ship the healer practiced her moves. She got reacquainted with its moves and its sounds. Counting every step she reached out for anything she could touch around her in the cabin that she could call her own for now. The arrival of a walking cane made life considerably easier. Although she was used to the greater length of her beloved staff, the shorter stick would do fine for now.

She practiced with her new wooden eyes every day, every idle moment so she could get used to the feel, the smell, the weight and especially the sound and vibration whenever it encountered something in her path.
She listened and memorized the different textures and materials she met along the way until she was completely and utterly sure of every nook and cranny, every item with its own place in her lodgings.
Some of her excercises might be perceived as fighting moves by an outsider -and they would be right as Nathanial had left no stone unturned to prepare his daughter for the world- but with the cabin being too cramped to try out a full practice every move remained within the boundaries of the many unspoken rules of the captain.

After she was comfortable she knew her way around Eileena moved outside her safe spot. With permission from the captain she ventured on deck, following the same procedures and experiments. The lady took her time. All her attention was on getting to know this particular ship, the measurements, the placement of various movable or immovable objects. The challenge was to stay out of the way of the sailors.

Only when she was sure enough of her surroundings did she shift her attention to the conversations between the men. Eileena tried to recognize languages, words, emotions in order to find out how these people felt, working for Stormwake. How they felt about their current task, carrying this unknown healer from spot to spot.

The crew of The Salty Mare was used to being patient, to waiting for the right moment to strike. Most times they actually were successful. They seemed to be a varied bunch from all over Azeroth. Some came from Booty Bay, Southshore and Tol Barad. Several of them seemed even to have came from as far as Tanaris, talking about a singer and dancer often called "The Jewel of Tanaris" and judging from their descriptions of her, she was certainly a sight to behold. Many were welcome for at least some time in port as it allowed them to go to the brothels. The crew was fairly large, easily over 100 men, and there were newer crew being added every day. It seemed there was a LOT of activity. The activity consisted of loading heavy cargo as well as what sounded like hammering of iron. One of the rules Thaalia had laid out was that when Eileena was out on deck, that she would tie a rope around her waist. It was for two reasons: The first being that Eileena could walk the deck, yet had a safety line around her in case she fell in. The other that it minimised the already minimal risk that Eileena might walk off. Though that was pretty much a non-existent threat at the moment, despite them being docked.

One of the new swabbies that had been recruited over the last couple of days had been carrying a heavier barrel of fish than he should have been, tripped on the rope around Eileena's waist. "The hell? Who put this damn rope here?!"

One of the more veteran sailors looked up from what he was doing, then saw the rope was around Eileena. Currently Thaalia was off-shore. "Don't be messing with that rope, it's for the priest." "

You!" The younger sounding sailor said approaching Eileena. "Captain's Pet!" The activity around the ship didn't stop although Eileena did notice that the activity on deck did quieten, some crew members watching the scene.

The older sailor got up and walked over "You don' wanna be doing that lad."

"Why not?" It's not like this little poppet's gonna do anything, is she? Are ya pet?" The younger sailor tried to yank Eileena's cane away from her.

"I'm warnin' ye lad, ye not be wanna doin' that." The older sailor said.

Eileena stopped the moment she felt yanked back by the rope because of the stumbling sailor. Turning to face him she tilted her head. Captain's pet. It made sense. So did the quieting of the noise around her. The woman felt the threat growing instantly. Her hand flexed around her cane. Lad...lad....someone calls him lad. He must be new. I have a chance there is someone willing to step in. Yet leaving nothing to chance, her sensitive hearing picked up the move towards her wooden eyes and she quickly moved the cane out of the way, hoping the sailor would grab air instead. She knew the logical next move. It was one she had practiced numerous times with her father. Yet it was one she would not use now. Better to wait to hear what would happen lest she'd make enemies she could not avoid.
Just for a moment...unless he would come too close.

There was the ruffle of clothing as the younger sailor attempted to reach out and grab Eileena underneath her jaw. "I am talking to you?" the sailor sounded surprised as his other hand that had been grasping for the cane missed when she pulled the cane away. The younger sailor took a step closer. Meanwhile the older-sound sailor was still walking towards the younger one, his steps punctuated by a thud, a peg-leg from the sounds of it.

There wasn't much room to move about. Right now Eileena had no way of knowing where all the other people were standing. Stepping back was therefore not an option. Too many people to keep track of! Too many! For a split second she heard the cacophony of melodies playing throughout the ship. The moment her head cleared, the sailor had grabbed her jaw.
Deep breath. "Indeed you are, sir. You are talking to me. I apologize for the needful rope." Easy, take it easy. Breathe. Plenty of people here who know what Stormwake wants. Have faith...gods... Her hand was still safely around her cane. She could easily move it up if she needed to. It would either serve as a reinforcement to hit the man under the chin or to hopefully hit him in the chestbone. Either way she was ready to steal his breath if he made any other offensive move.
The gods help those that help themselves.
Her heart was racing as her mind tried to take in all that was happening at the same time.

Eileena could here there were people talking, some taking bets on what the sailor was going to do to her. Most of the suggestions were not at all pleasant. The young sailor's grip tightened on Eileena's jaw, his thumb and fingers pressing hard against her cheeks. "I've got an idea what you can do to make it...all better." Eileena could practically hear the sneering implication in his voice.

The peg-legged sailor reached over and pulled back on the sailor. "Boy I be tellin' ya, ya gotta be leavin' her alone!"

The younger sailor moved as he turned, while maintaining his grip on Eileena's jaw. A slight movement as he stood closer to Eileena, before he pushed away the older sailor away. "Fuck off old man, you'll get your turn!"

The less than kind suggestions should not have taken her by surprise, but somehow in most of her life there had always been someone watching over her; someone who's cunning or strength had scared away any unpleasantness before it ever began. Not so this time. It sounded suspiciously much like her impromptu guardian angel was a minority at a disadvantage. She swallowed with difficulty. When you can't win, cheat. With her husband's words in mind Eileena made her decision before fear paralyzed her. The pull on her jaw indicated the other sailor's head was too far away now. She brought her cane up with force, aiming to have it land in his chestbone, hopefully catching him by surprise enough to buy herself and her possible ally some time. Up!
As if her thoughts could strengthen her move she put both hands and her focus into the motion, her mind swiftly turning to a next necessary action.
When you knock the breath out of them, most will bend forward. It's a natural thing. So if you find yourself in that situation, follow up. Do not wait for them to catch their breath! Turn your staff and move up again! You will hit them in the face or in the chin, trust me.
This time her father speaking from days long gone. Follow up! If she'd feel the impact of her cane with his chest, Eileena would pull back just enough to move up towards where she'd expect his head to be. The cane might be considerably shorter than her staff, this might still give her a chance. A chance against one...but against all? She pushed her fears away, although she felt the cold creep into her body.

"Now where were we beau-" The young sailor had been in the middle of turning before the cane's bottom caved into his chest, with such forceful pressure that the sailor slumped as he did what was the most likely and gripped his chest as he fell to his knees, sputtering as he was completely taken by surprise. Some of the sailors who had been watching, seemed to have also been completely taken aback as well.

Her would-be saviour stopped in his track as well. "I warned ya lad, now leave while ya still can."

"You bitch! I'm gonna gut you like a fish." Eileena could probably predict what would happen next, as the sailor was starting to reach for something.

Silence.
A different kind of silence.
Stunned.
I have a chance....I have a chance they will keep their distance! Grasping at this welcome straw her short moment of relief vanished as the next words left no doubt as to the sailor's intentions. The eerie silence suddenly became her friend as it alerted her to the sounds of the young man making a grab for something.
Thoughts whirled through Eileena's mind, forming the mental picture she needed to act. He grabbed my cane with his left hand. Right on my chin. So he turned to the left, leaning on right when he went down. That means...

Still aware of the rope that held her the blind priestess did not move much from her spot. His opening should be on his left side and since he was probably grabbing his weapon with his left hand too, that one was busy while the right hand was steadying him.
An opening.
One shot.
She went through her knees to lend momentum to the swing of her cane that was supposed to come in from his left and move up to knock him aside -or hopefully out.
WHACK!

The young sailor was in the middle of pulling out his dagger when <CRACK!> the cane cracked against the side of the sailor's skull and it was quickly followed by the sound of a body crumpling to the deck.
All of the onlookers audibly gasped, CLEARLY not expecting that outcome. Her would-be saviour continued, albeit clearly slower, but trying not to be threatening.

"Tha's a stron' arm ya have on ya girl. Don' worry, he'll be ou' for a while, an' he'll be thinkin' twice about tryin' tha' again. Wha' ya all lookin' at ya bilge rats? Put 'im in th' brig to cool off!" the older soldier said, before he continued approaching, stopping a few paces from Eileena, while a couple of sailors moved past the healer from behind, moving to the unconscious sailor and dragging him off. "Don' wor'y girl. Ol' Benny's not gonna hurt ya. He's gonna be seein' ya not be bothered none more. Here, ya take OI' Benny's hand or arm, he's gon' be helpin' up." the older sailor said, his accent thick, as he held out his hand for Eileena to take.

Her mind still in survival mode Eileena could not help but think that now that she had proven herself less easy than expected, people would suddenly listen to the older sailor where before they had only been interested in cheering the young one on. It made her doubt the weight this Benny tossed around on board. How likely a protector was he when people would not listen aboard their own ship?
Men! She could not keep her distaste out of her thought. And as swiftly as the adrenalin had helped decide her actions, it seeped from her body the moment Benny addressed her. Her face turned to the man, dry lips trembling. She clenched her jaws, unwilling to make a spectacle out of herself. The refreshing air suddenly chilled her to the bone.
Not noticing the stretched out hand, she merely nodded. "Thank you." How she wanted to be back in the cabin already! Do not retreat. It is a show of weakness. Leave with dignity! Leave them wondering!

As before the priestess wondered how it was possible her father and her husband had never gotten along. They were both ultimately practical men with a way of shaping the world to their needs. The memory of their words and advice mingled. Eileena got up, wiped a strand of her naturally white hair out of her face and moved her head slowly, her unseeing eyes wandering over the little congregation. "I take it my apology was accepted." She managed to keep most of the trembling out of her voice. Only then did she turn and traced her heavy steps back to the relative safety of her cabin.
It took a long while before her teeth would stop chattering. Even longer for her mind to grasp what she might just have avoided.

Eileena
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:10 pm

Re: Light and darkness

#17 Post by Eileena » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:32 pm

Ever since that day they leave me alone.
It is strange to be alone on a ship so full of people.
Perhaps Benny holds something over their head after all.
Or perhaps the captain does.
Maybe I did make a point.
I pray to the gods that I made a point.
I do not wish to contemplate what would have happened otherwise.

The captain has not once asked for my name.
This is a good thing since I am not a good liar.
I am considered an asset, a pet if I were to believe the crew.
No need for a name.
I am the healer.

The sway of the ship is soothing.
The waves sing their songs. Some are kind, others harsh when I have to stay down below.
I like being on deck now that I am no longer hindered. Outside I connect to life.
Inside not so much despite the numerous people that come to be healed.
Am I really healing them?
By now it seems no more than the knitting of flesh, the memory of unencumbered flow.
I can almost hear their Songs, yet time is short and I only get the periphery of their melody.
There would be so much more I could do for them.
If there was more time.
Yet the ship moves again, to the next place, the next appointment.
And the next.
The next.

The Mare sails cleverly between places. I am sure we have frequented the same place more than once. Either that or the harbourmasters shift jobs a lot. I hardly find the same person again once I have set them on their path again.
Save one.
The poor fellow either has the worst luck in the world or someone is out to get him.
Poor hawk.
I will mend your wings again.
I am so sorry I cannot regrow what is lost.
But maybe you will remember to share my song this time.
I apologize for the headache.

I've tried to get my message across through those songs.
There has been no response.
Still too far away to be found by the stars.
Would they still be looking?
How many moons have passed?
Would it be kinder if they believed me gone?
Maybe they already do.

Maybe tomorrow my thoughts will be lighter.
Maybe the stories of new traderoutes are true.
Maybe the old motto still stands and Starlight will explore this territory.
Maybe.

Eileena
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:10 pm

Re: Light and darkness

#18 Post by Eileena » Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:38 pm

As the days pass in a haze of activities I notice a change in the silence.
There is the fierce brightness of the Light. Although I am careful not to loose myself in there anymore since the false gods there is still the pure strand, that melody which can change lives.
Then when night falls it is Elune who's softness eases my mind.

I often wonder if they are not one and the same, two sides of a coin.
A true coin, that is, not one from a certain honest tradesman.
Gods, how I wish he was here.
How I wish I was there.
Loved by the best there is.
Cherished by friends.
Sharing with friends.

There is a third voice, though, mingling, a perfect countervoice to the others. The sea has a voice of her own and it combines both powers mentioned before. I can feel the smoothness and yet the ever vigilance needed to survive a journey with her as a companion. From one moment to the other the mood can change violently, although I believe I am starting to feel the change in the waves before the wind responds.
They must think I am mad, singing to the sea.
Let them think.
Maybe I am mad.
But at least I do not depend on a place of worship far away.
The Song is everywhere.
Even if I am nowhere.

I can still hear their words, the seneschals of Starlight. Women with an important part to play in Nomine's life and in the course of Starlight.
I wonder what part they had in mind for me.
It is no matter.
No matter what choice I would have made, they would have condemned me for it, for each choice would either show me a bad spouse or a shadow of a person.
Each adds something to Nomine's life and the guild he tries to carry on his shoulders.
A shame I grew insecure of my addition, needing their approval so badly.
Even if I never doubted his part in my existance.

I was never just a tool, nor a shadow.
I had a name and my goals, even if they mostly coincided with those of the guildmaster.
Now I have neither.
I have nothing save my ability between myself and becoming obsolete.

I brought this upon myself, to be honest, putting the stone away in order not to get lured back before I had my answers.
So little faith in myself, for what if I had been lured back? Was that not an answer in itself?

I wish I had more time to think.
To sit.
Listen.
Yet when the day is done all I wish for is sleep.
And when I listen, it is mostly the sea's lullabye sending me on.

A smart woman, this Stormwake. With what little unsupervised time there is spent at sea there is no chance to slip away, lest it be to my death.
And I am not ready to die.
There is hope.
As long as there is life.

I cannot blame my companions for any of this.
For all I know they think I am dead. Did not the man in that first room take my ring away?
I wonder where they sent it.
How they knew where to send it.
If they sent it.

Still no one asks for my name. I had best have one ready for when that moment comes. So far the waves have been kind and I have not fallen ill, but what if I do and I speak the wrong names? Names that might get me or my people in trouble?
I had best practice.
My middle name will do.
Lies are best hidden amidst truths after all. At least I would respond to it without thinking.
Maureen then.
Just in case.
Until I can be Eileena once again.

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